Betsy Russell reports that a House panel Monday rejected a bid to raise Idaho’s cigarette tax by $1.25 per pack, with Republican foes branding health groups’ efforts to raise barriers to teen smoking as nothing more than social engineering.

As a consequence, Idaho’s 57 cent per pack tax will remain the lowest of surrounding states.

The Revenue and Taxation Committee’s vote against holding a full public hearing was 11-5, easily defeating the bill sponsored by groups including the American Lung Association and American Cancer Society. …

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